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Elisa Vegliante, 'Fantasy crime is a lot less messy...'

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by LamontPaul, for outsideleft.com
originally published: July, 2005
When I see people it makes me want to commit a crime...
by LamontPaul, for outsideleft.com
originally published: July, 2005
When I see people it makes me want to commit a crime...

There's been an incident outside the Chi Chi Grocery store, someone it seems, didn't double bag as they were supposed to and there is bean dip all over the sidewalk. A police cruiser circulates as Elisa Vegliante and I walk by, and it reminds me of a great quote from her I'd read and somehow it reminds her that that is my favorite quote too... "When I see people it makes me want to commit a crime..." But as yet, the potential perp walks... "Fantasy crime is a lot less messy," she explains, as we head along Pembroke Street. Earlier we'd talked about TV shows CSI and The Inside, although one of her favorites had been Millenium. All good grist when planning the perfect crime.

"I don't go anywhere except work and the grocery store. All of the images in my painting come from inside my head, not outside in the environment."

Elisa Vegliante, Mondo Expressionist, is the second of our Residency features, R2. Part One of our Residency with Mondo Expressionist Artist Elisa Vegliante is here >> This week, Elisa talks about the facsinating history of Art Cards. She gave us very limited quantities her own 2004 series which we are making available to our readers in the brand new shop outsideleft store, (where you won't find anything else it's so new, and still a little buggy, so bear with it if you're buying!)

Men carried them in their purses long before women did.

"Mostly only the rich had access to art cards-- they were the first wallet "photos"- - Men would have nudes painted of their Mistresses on art cards (without their wives knowing)- - usually by the same Artist that would do the big family portraits of their wives. Miniature Portraits would be used for exchange when rich people arranged marriages. The French artists were the first to come up with advertisement on the art cards. It wasn't until the mid-1700's that the English pick up on the idea of using the Art cards for advertising. The Art Cards of Europe are slightly larger than ours as is their standard deck of playing cards is much larger than ours.

As part of the Residency we offer exclusive, amazing stuff. This week, we're offering Elisa's collection of Art Cards, 18 in all, individually framed if you choose, available while supplies last at Shop outsideleft's Elisa Vegliante section...

Elisa's Mondo Expressionism has been shown in a number of highly respected East Coast galleries. More recently, her work has been made widely available over the internet and she is excited about the future of art on the web. As are we. "I used to belong to the best gallery in the world called "The Chris Butler Group". The gallery was open between 1995-1997. She had to close because it was too expensive to keep going. Chris Butler is the best art patron, and curator I know. I consider her a leading authority on real "outsider art". Unfortunately, most of the good galleries close because the art business is very difficult. All of my art is in the virtual world."

She goes on to point out, "I just think that Ebay is the "gallery" for real artists. It's where you will find art that is created for art's sake.not for the profit of a gallery. The elite art community considers artists who sell on Ebay as hacks and amateurs but I have seen much work on Ebay that is better than anything I have seen in galleries, and for a lot less money. I would love to be a part of another gallery but I am not going to wait until some privileged elitist decides I am "good enough" for their establishment. Gallery owners will soon have to realize that with the advent of the internet and online marketing, artists are no longer at the mercy of the gallery bandits. We now have control of our own art, and to some extent, the marketplace as well. If the established art gallery industry won't wake up and start treating artists with more respect, they are going to lose their sources, and their business. One gallery art dealer actually confessed to me that Ebay ruined her business, because art collectors can buy directly from artists and get great art without the gallery mark-ups."

Elisa is also part of an Art Trading Card revival of sorts which dates back to the 16th Century... "I started making art trading cards when I was asked to join an Ebay group by Lisa Luree ("bone*diva", her Ebay ID). She started an eBay group now called ACEO (Art Cards Editions & Originals). It is a commercial trading-card group where cards are bought and sold as apposed to another group of artists who solely trade cards. In fact, we were actually getting hate mail from this other group, claiming that "trading cards" were only supposed to be traded, not sold! This group of artists came out of the successful "mail art" movement, but we decided to make our cards available to non-artists as well and so we sell them."

The internecine dispute, between the buyers and sellers and those who believe the art cards should only be traded is, lets face it, incendiary.

"Art cards or miniatures were the rage in the 16th century. They were mostly portraits and they where sold." Elisa emphasises. (Not traded or given away) "This trend continued until the Impressionist Age-- these young (starving) artists-- painted art cards and traded them for supplies, food and lodging. (They had trouble selling their work) .They started trading among themselves, in order to study each other's style and technique. Thus the Art Trading Card. However, they also SOLD art cards to the public, while continuiing to trade them for supplies when necessary and among other artists. At the close of the Victorian age-- ATC's had lost most of their charm and the trend seemed to fade away with the exception a communities of Artists that would produce them to trading amongst themselves."

It wasn't until World War II that Art Trading Cards returned to the Vogue.

"During WW II, someone came back from France with ATc-- advertisement cards and thought that it would be good for the candy/gum industry here in America thus the birth of Sports trading cards. You bought the gum or candy and got the cards free. Today-- you buy the cards.- - nothing is free.

Groups or organizations like the one on the web have been around for sometime and they do produce or create for trading only-- but only amongst themselves. You have to join their group in order to trade. I have nothing against them and their concept of what to do with their art. However, I just love our concept of selling ours."

A very limited number of Elisa Vegliante's Art Trading Cards are available in the Elisa Vegliante store at Shop Outsideleft

Next Week: Elisa Vegliante at home...

Visit Elisa's website: www.mondoexpressionism.com

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